What I Eat on Wartime Rations

I’ve been uploading some quick video snippets (watch here) of what I’ve been typically eating throughout the last few weeks (started January 9th 2023) and months (last year dipping in and out of rationing) living on WW2 rations. There has of course been lots of bread, potato, porridge oats and vegetable based dishes (as there would have been during the war) and apart from porridge for breakfast, the most frequent dish I am eating is stew! My stews contain lots of lentils and other pulses and legumes, root vegetables and also lots of leeks, spring and savoy cabbage and spinach which I love!

Yesterday I made a HUGE Shepherds/Cottage Pie (neither really as didn’t use lamb or beef but rather soya mince) which fed myself and my youngest (25) who still lives with me AND I’ve set aside another large portion for them and I have 3 portions left over! I will freeze one portion today but the other two will feed me today and tomorrow with vegetables on the side!

I’m really loving the fact that I can produce 8 large portions (or 6 extra large portions!) for less than £2 plus the cost of whatever you serve it with. The protein amount per large portion is around 25g too!

Sometimes I think I must be putting weight on but my clothes are telling me different, they are not quite as tight so will look forward with interest to see what the scales tell me on February the 9th.

C xxxx

6 thoughts on “What I Eat on Wartime Rations

  1. You ought to contact one of the newspapers about your recipes because with the cost of living issues this would be of interest Carolyn!

    • Funny you should say that haha! Actually I’ve never, ever contacted any of them but this past year or two have been on Boston Radio in the USA, BBC World Service, was asked to appear on GB News recently (couldn’t attend) and a broadsheet is doing an article of interest to the cost of living I believe and was interested in what I had to say. I think we all need all the help we can get at the moment to try and keep our costs down, but still enjoy tasty food. xxx C Hugs

      • Glad that you have been having some media attention! Home cooking is a skill that today’s youngsters will need to have. 🙂

  2. I have been making 3-5 of your recipes a week to try everything. Being alone, I halve or 1/4 the recipe. It always amazes me that recipes with such few ingredients, and all simple foods, taste so good and are good for you. It makes me wonder why I would ever go back to all the dips, spreads and sauces I have grown up with? And the unnecessary large portions! I need to spend this year retraining myself to rethink about the foods I eat and just eat healthy, as eating ration foods are not a hardship at all. What a difference in the way I feel and a huge difference in what I spend on groceries. It’s all thanks to you Carolyn, and an online pop up from 2014 that I saw a couple years ago about the woman from England eating 1940s ww2 rations to lose weight. Thank you. You are my inspiration.

    • You are too kind but I feel like we see through the same eyes. When I did my last year on rations many, many years ago, lost around 80 lbs (still had loads to lose but it was a start!) HOWEVER as soon as I went back to my old way of modern eating, the weight piled on and I felt hungrier, just made no sense! Eating the ration book way I’m not counting calories, just eating my allowance and filling up on veggies and eating the odd pudding here and there and I’m even going to have a few beers once a month when I see my friend for our monthly evening chin-wag. honestly, right now I’m feeling full and not craving those crisps (chips), chocolate etc at all. The only thing I’m not having is my sweet ration as I don’t feel I’d have enough control yet. Like you said, a huge difference on the amount spent on groceries. My weekly spend has gone from about £45 on groceries + £25 on take out or extras to about £15 per week.. about 1/4!!! Thanks for your lovely comment and good luck xxx C

  3. We had haggis to celebrate Burns’ Night, with swede and potato mash, and cabbage, and finished it the next night. It is very tasty, but better not to look to closely at the ingredients. Offal was not rationed. There’s frugal food and then there are recipes which come out of years of poverty.
    The local basic food in the industrial Midlands was grey peas and gravy. In the Potteries it was oatcakes, a thin pancake made with oatmeal and yeast, with a bit of cheese or bacon as the filling.

    Soup is another standard way of feeding a lot of people something hot when there is nothing much left at the end of the week.

    With a few hens in the garden, we have some sort of Spanish omelette full of vegetables with just a sprinkle of grated cheese. It should be called, “Well, there’s always eggs.”

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